REVEALED: How Chinchilla police are boosting crime fighting efforts
AS A minority of young criminals continue to terrorise Chinchilla residents with spates of property crime, the Chinchilla police have been tackling the problem head on with the help of additional resources.
Chinchilla police senior constable James Leahy outlined how the station is boosting its crime fighting efforts in the hopes of curbing the rate of burglaries and car theft.
“We now have an additional vehicle, it’s our third vehicle,” snr const Leahy said.
“We’re up from eight staff to 13, we’ve been gradually increasing staff since January, so now we have six constables, six senior constables, and the officer in charge.
“The roster has been being spread out over 24 hours, rather than having officers on call.”
With the additional manpower and vehicles, snr const Leahy said Chinchilla police are now able to be in two places at once.
“It has absolutely improved our presence, now we can spread ourselves in town and out of town, so there’s no longer a window of opportunity for the offenders,” he said.
Snr const Leahy said contrary to popular belief the township is in a good position with crime treading down.
“Most of the crimes that are happening are opportunistic, there haven’t been a lot of forced break and enters,” he said.
The community needs to stay vigilant in making sure their houses and cars are locked securely, snr const Leahy said it’s very much the case of ‘lock it or lose it’.
“Chinchilla is not an island, people seem to be more scarred because of their country town mentality, but everyone needs to understand the town is readily accessible, crime is going to happen,” he said.
Callide MP Colin Boyce said Chinchilla police have done an exceptional job, even though their hands are tied by the youth justice system which keeps releasing repeat juvenile offenders.
“Chinchilla is actually really good with dealing with their crime problem they have done an excellent job in comparison with the rest of Queensland,” Mr Boyce said.
“The police in my view are hamstrung by the system… I spoke to many (officers), they will say it’s not the fact they don’t know who they are and they can’t catch them, it’s they get let out on the streets again, and Chinchilla has a group of young boys that are quite notorious for repeat offending.”
LNP shadow police Minister Dan Purdie said if the LNP is successful at the October state election, more will be done crack down on youth crime and support police.
“Only the LNP has a plan to properly resource our hardworking police officers in Chinchilla and across Queensland,” Mr Purdie said.
“Community safety is our priority and that means ensuring our police have the resources they need to keep the community safe.
“LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has unveiled a raft of plans to cut crime, including a comprehensive three strikes policy for youth offenders and restore breach of bail as an offence.
“The LNP plan to crackdown on youth crime comes on the back of our plan on hooning and more support for CrimeStoppers, taking the pressure off PoliceLink.”
If you witness a crime happening call 000 - if it’s not an emergency call PoliceLink on 131 444.